Chris Smalling admits Anthony Martial is somebody he doesn’t want to play against

by Sam Peoples

Chris Smalling has singled out team-mate Anthony Martial as the forward who he would least like to play against at the moment.

Martial has been in superb form right from the word go after joining Manchester United and heads into the Arsenal game as the club’s in-form striker.

Having seen him in training and matches, Smalling knows Martial’s unpredictability makes him such a dangerous player and has praised his strength on the ball as well.

“Playing against him in training you know the handful that he is. You can see what he does in games,” Smalling said.

“He’s probably the one forward I’d stick at the top of the list of who I wouldn’t want to play against at the moment.

“We play 11 against 11 in training so I come up against him and other forwards. He’s quick and has that skill.

“Anthony has added that injection of unpredictability up front where he can turn players and run at them.

“But people are surprised by how strong he is. He was up against two very physical defenders against Wolfsburg in the Champions League and obviously every week in the league. But he has more than handled himself.

“He’s running into channels. Against Wolfsburg we knew they would make the pitch big with two wingers, so we knew if we slid it down the sides of their centre-backs, he has the beating of anybody.”


Martial’s quality would scare Smalling if he lined up against him and Arsenal’s defence certainly have a tough task keeping him quiet. In much the same fashion as Alexis Sanchez is Arsenal’s main man in attack, Martial is currently leading United’s line and doing so well, especially given he’s just 19.

The future is really bright for Martial. We’re not getting too carried away with his early performances but he’s setting some very high expectations with how strong and consistent they have been so far.

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